Leonardo Ricci. Model + Structure + Form. Recorded Lectures and Seminars with Students in Venezia, Italia, 1994


  • Keith Plymale University of California Berkeley




Leonardo Ricci, Teaching, Lectures


The proposed paper will be the first publication from a seminar series given by Leonardo Ricci to his American students from his home in Venice, Italy. The text will be an annotated transcript drawn from 14 weekly meetings that were recorded at Ricci’s living room table between January and April 1994. Topics discussed by Ricci and his students range from architectural theory to analysis of specific buildings, and include Mies van der Rohe, Louis Kahn, Carlo Scarpa, Le Corbusier, Giovanni Michelucci, Alvar Aalto, and other architects. Ricci also discusses architectural education and his own buildings and paintings. As one of Ricci’s former students, then his co-teacher in Venice, Ricci asked me to record these meetings for future transcription and publication. This paper, entitled Model, Structure, Form, will be the first installment for a book of annotated transcripts from the full 20 hours of recordings, accompanied by the unedited audio recordings of Ricci speaking, drawing, and answering questions during each seminar.
“Making plans on the Grand Canal is utopian, almost as though the topos did not exist.  Even if, once, it was possible, one wonders how a modern building could coexist with one from the past. Thus I found myself in the world of artistic creation. It was as though I were the owner of the ruins which had become the house-museum, thanks to Peggy Guggenheim, and the mayor of Venice was ready to sign the construction permit. For many sleepless nights I saw the already constructed Ca’ Venier, all of it, on the Grand Canal. A magic box. Platforms suspended in space suitable for single works. Pollock suspended in the void. Klee in precious urns. Giacometti projected into the sky. The exterior like Ca’ D’Oro made of marble and white stone. The interior of slate to absorb the light and leave it alone with the colors of the paintings and sculptures. But anyone who knows how to read can read the drawings and the plastic. Even the uninitiated can.”

Leonardo Ricci, La Biennale di Venezia, 1994


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Audio files of Ricci Speaking to be made available digitally.




How to Cite

Plymale, K. (2023). Leonardo Ricci. Model + Structure + Form. Recorded Lectures and Seminars with Students in Venezia, Italia, 1994. Histories of Postwar Architecture, 5(10), 118–125. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2611-0075/14163